Are You An Over-Saver?

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Do you use it or save it up

I used to be someone who saved things up. A new pair of boots, a box of premium tea, a gift of my favorite perfume – new things got put aside until the ideal occasion. There was a certain pleasure in knowing I had something special waiting for me, for one day.

But often I’d wait too long.

I’d go to wear a new dress, only to find the season, the fashion or my taste had changed.

I’d open an expensive lip gloss, and discover it had started to smell kinda funky.

After enough of these disappointments I realized I was an over-saver – and it wasn’t a smart strategy.

Not only does over-saving deny you the opportunity to use and enjoy your things, it can also contribute to clutter and hoarding.

Are You An Over-Saver?

A little saving up can be a good thing – you get to enjoy the anticipation and the pleasure of using things.

But if you think you might be an over-saver, take this little quiz:

  • Do you have clothes in your closet with tags still on?
  • Do you have entire drawers filled with unopened skincare or cosmetics?
  • Do you continue to use old or broken things, like sunglasses or umbrellas, while new ones languish in the cupboard?
  • Do you have gadgets still in the packaging?
  • Do you save crockery, glassware or cutlery for special occasions that happen less than once or twice a year?
  • Do you have table or bed linen you’ve never used?
  • Do you have artwork you’ve never put up? (Note: ‘leaning’ artwork is aesthetically acceptable these days, so don’t let fancy mounting be your excuse.)
  • Do you store new appliances in cupboards, while you soldier on using ancient, semi-functioning ones?
  • Do you have jewelry or watches that are too good to wear – ever?

If you answered yes to two or more of the above, you’re probably an over-saver. Why not cut clutter and gain pleasure by making the switch – and becoming a user.

Reduce Clutter And Hoarding – Become a User

To become a user, decide that you’ll use new things immediately.

Here are some tips for making the transition from over-saver to user:

  • Wear the new outfit, boots, or bag at the first opportunity
  • Take new things out of the packaging and place them where you’ll use them (rather than in a storage place)
  • When you buy replacements for broken or damaged things, dispose of the old versions immediately
  • Decide whether you want to keep a gift, and if you do, start using it right away (if you don’t want to keep it, then donate, re-gift, or discard it)
  • Decide to abandon special occasion crockery, glassware or cutlery and have only good quality, everyday tableware
  • Start using your saved-up bed linen
  • Put your artwork up this weekend – or ‘lean’ it tastefully today
  • Dispose of ill-performing appliances and use the new ones
  • Wear your nice jewelry/watch next time you go out.

Are you a User, Saver or Over-saver? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!

[Image by BFS Man]

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Marly B says:

Have you been peeking in my house?? This article nails me perfectly. Guilty as charged. Now I will TRY to put these wonderful tips to good use. This blog is wonderful. Thanks!

Nikki says:

I read this thinking “oh, I don’t do much of that”…then I read your questions.

Aargh! Apparently I am an over saver!

There’s not even any logic in it most of the time with my stuff – I have a set of bed covers that I haven’t used, but not for any reason (i.e. not saving them for a special occasion) – I just haven’t used them. Likewise, various toiletries – just sitting there, waiting to be used…

So now I have faced this admission it’s time that I went home and did something about it! I mean, I know I’m a hoarder with certain things, but I hadn’t appreciated that I’m also an over-saver.

*sigh*

@Julie: Sounds like you’ve got a good philosophy. Things go out of style, or your own tastes change. In the meantime, those women at the shelter have got the benefit of your generosity.

May I offer a suggestion? Instead of money you might spend on sale items that don’t fit you now, buy yourself something gorgeous that does fit. Then wear it and feel great. M :)

Julie says:

I was an over saver, but more of a dreamer. I recently cleaned out my closet and drawers and found many of the items brand new with tags on them. I had lost 100 pounds several years ago, but have since gained them all back. So if I found an awesome deal on clearance I would tell myself go ahead buy it you’ll lose it again. Yea right! I did that so many times I had a closet full of clothes that were going to be totally out of style by the time I lose 100 pounds again. I donated all of my clothes and shoes to a women’s crises shelter. Not only did I feel good for donating but it was a cleansing for me as well. I still dream….but now I don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit at the time of purchase. Plus I really question myself how often am I really going to wear them.

@S. Anderson: I’m glad you found the site too!

I guess what I’m encouraging people to do in this post is to USE their things rather than save them up for months or years.

And although I’m always encouraging my readers to get rid of clutter, I define clutter as stuff you don’t USE or don’t LOVE.

In other words, if you use it or love it, keep it. And if you have it, use it.

You might also find this helpful:
But I Might Need It One Day! [How To Stop Making Excuses & Get Organized, Declutter & Simplify]
http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/blog/2010/12/but-i-might-need-it-one-day-how-to-stop-making-excuses-get-organized-declutter-simplify/

M :)

S. Anderson says:

I’m thrilled to have found your site. Yes, I am an oversaver, but I had a situation where it served me well, so I am having a hard time changing. Several years ago, we had to take an unexpected 50% pay cut. I was able to use so much of what I saved and had to spend very little. The low salary lasted several years, and it helped me readjust my thinking. Now I buy at thrift stores and garage sales so I don’t have the attachment to things and worry about letting go because I spent a lot of money on it. How do you go about getting rid of things or stocking up when you might face a financial crisis again?

@Amber: I hope you get a real kick out of using your make-up and wearing your shirt! :)

Amber says:

Okay, I’m going to go home and open up the makeup I bought in August, put on the shirt I bought in December, and use the body spray that I got…well, I don’t remember when, so maybe I’ll chuck that one! =) I’m loving this blog! Thank you for all of your tips and advice!

I just came across your blog while browsing for moving and storage information. Your article about queues of if you’re an over-saver was especially interesting. I especially liked your comments about getting rid of what you don’t need, or really determining what you use on a daily basis. I am adding you to my favorites. We’re writing from a mini-storage facility in Monrovia, CA called Dry Dock Storage: http://www.drydockstorageonline.com, a very helpful service or option to know about when moving or downsizing your home. We’re currently offering exclusive online specials for self storage. These 50% off specials can be found at our web site. Any feedback would be appreciated as well. Thanks!

Applies equally w $$ too. Prevents growth. “@ConfidentMom: RT @MicheleConnolly Are You An Over-Saver? http://bit.ly/atxQcX”

Susan Heid says:

RT @MicheleConnolly Are You An Over-Saver? http://bit.ly/atxQcX

Susan Heid says:

RT @MicheleConnolly Are You An Over-Saver? http://bit.ly/atxQcX